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Polar's Ignite 3 Watch Blends Fitness With Your Circadian Rhythm

This fitness watch claims it can detect what time you'll be most alert during the day.

Polar Ignite 3 watch
Polar

Polar's latest fitness watch wants to paint a better picture of your activity and sleep metrics. The Ignite 3 has new sleep analysis tools designed to help balance your training with your unique circadian rhythm, claiming to pinpoint the specific time of day you'll be most alert. It follows in the footsteps of other smartwatches released in 2022 that are focusing more on a holistic look at your overall fitness levels, both physical and mental.

The Ignite 3 is available now for $330 or 330 euros, which roughly converts to £290 or AU$510. It has a 1.28-inch circular AMOLED display that can remain always on, surrounded by a stainless steel bezel. The watch comes in four colors with a matching band, with options including black, gray, purple and brown. Polar says the battery will last five days on a single charge, or 30 hours with GPS in training mode, which is longer than similarly priced round watches such as the Google Pixel Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

But the Ignite 3 wants to further distinguish itself through in-depth sleep analysis features. SleepWise provides a forecast of when you should be the most alert during the day based on your sleep cycles. The idea is to help you find the best time to train or be productive in other ways, like focusing on work-related tasks that demand your full attention. It also gives you an estimate of when you're ready to go to sleep that night. Another feature called Nightly Recharge tracks overnight recovery and how well your body is coping with stressors that crop up during the day. You'll see all this data when you wake up each morning. These features are unique to Polar and set the Ignite 3 apart from many other watches that often only show sleep stages, or a sleep score.

The Ignite 3 also has many of the fitness-tracking features found on Polar's earlier watches like the Pacer Pro, including a walking and running test that can help you measure VO2 max. The Instinct 3 tracks over 150 different workout types and includes dual-band GPS for improved accuracy, just like the pricier Apple Watch Ultra and Garmin Epix Gen 2. There's continuous heart rate tracking just as you would expect from a fitness watch at this price. It also offers voice guidance during training sessions, though that is only available through Bluetooth headphones or your phone rather than the watch itself. 

Polar is one of many smartwatch-makers who are trying to straddle the line between fitness tracking and recovery. Fitbit's Sense 2 has sensors to identify when your body is stressed, as well as a Daily Readiness Score to indicate if your body is up to working out. Garmin's watches have a similar feature called the Body Battery that provides a score based on activity levels and sleep. Smartwatch companies have focused on adding these sorts of wellness tools to help their products stand out from the crowd, especially with more options available than ever before.

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